WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY HEALING?
One of the clearest ways that Jesus described His purpose in coming to earth was when he said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10) He did not come simply to establish another religion or to create a new set of rules to live by, Jesus came to gift us with life, and life that is abundant and vibrant. We believe that Jesus is still doing this today. One of the hallmarks of Jesus ministry during His time on earth was healing the sick, and as He called His disciples he empowered them and charged them to do the same. He gave those who would follow Him authority to drive out evil in this world, and to heal every kind of sickness (Matthew 10:1). So we are committed to do just that, to pray for healing from any kind of illness or ailment, and to invite Jesus to restore "life to the full" in every body, mind, heart and life.
HOW DOES HEALING HAPPEN?
We see healing happens in a number of ways. As we pray for healing, and take authority in Jesus' name over sickness or injury in someone's body, we often see healing take place in one of 3 ways:
These are the most exciting and amazing healings to witness. Sometimes, God simply heals instantly and completely right away. Deaf ears will open up, or shortened legs will grow out, or pain will leave an afflicted area immediately. There are numerous examples of this in the Scriptures, particularly in the Gospels and Acts (Matthew 8:13, 8:16, 9:22, 15:28, Mark 6:56, Luke 8:47, 9:42, Acts 4:22, 28:8, etc).
2. As you go.
Sometimes, during the prayer for healing, a person might not feel or experience any sense of change or improvement, but as they test out the condition afterwards, they will discover there has been healing. Other times, someone will receive prayer for an injury or sickness, and wake up the next morning to find that the pain/ailment is gone. There are examples of this as well in the Gospels, we see this most clearly with the story of Jesus healing 10 men with leprosy who were cleansed "as they went." (Luke 17:11-17)
3. Over a period of time.
These healings are just as significant, but require more patience and perseverance on our part. Sometimes, people receive healing over a long period of time and through many prayers. These are the "long-haul" kinds of healings where we see gradual improvement from week to week or month to month, or even at times, there will be a period where we cannot discern any change or relief until much later. Jesus himself told His disciples a parable about a persistent widow persevering in prayer to encourage them to never give up in prayer (Luke 18). We have seen people faithfully show up to receive prayer for weeks and months and little by little see the cancer decrease in their body. This is just as remarkable as an instantaneous healing.
WHAT IF I'M NOT HEALED?
This is the difficult, vulnerable aspect of praying for healing, not everyone experiences complete, instantaneous healing. First, you must know that this does not mean that God does not love you, or that he doesn't like you as much as other people. We also do not believe that it is because God is teaching you a lesson. He is kind and redemptive, and can use anything - even ailments - to bring about His good, but ultimately, it is not his desire for you to be injured or sick. He is a good Father, who desires life and health for His children.
However, we live in an imperfect world, where there are still aspects of life that do not line up with His good desires and perfect plans. Theologians refer to this as the "now-but-not-yet" aspect of the Kingdom of God. Basically, this means, that when Jesus came to earth, and defeated sin and death through the cross and the resurrection, the Kingdom of God broke in. God's plan, God's rule, God's design, God's way of life, became available to all of us again through Jesus. - that is the "now" bit. The "not yet" part is the sad reality, that the consequences of sin are still reverberating in our world, that there are still some areas of life and society that are not coming into alignment with the Kingdom that Jesus made available to us, or with God's good plans for the world. The good news, and our ultimate hope, rests in the promise Jesus made that He is coming back again, and that He will return to earth and make all things new - that He will reconcile all things back to the way God designed them to be, and that all those in His kingdom will truly live life to the fullest. This is also known as heaven. And in this promise, we are all promised an ultimate healing. One day there will be no sickness, no tears, no suffering, no pain, no cancer, no depression, no anxiety. So if we are not instantly healed at this moment, we can still look forward to the complete healing that is not only coming for us individually, but for the whole earth. So in the middle of our waiting and trusting for healing, we echo the prayer from Revelation, "Come Lord Jesus."